What Do You See?
Perspective is such a funny thing. It can make the same thing look completely wrong or absolutely right depending on which side of the fence you’re standing, on what your perspective is.
A great example of this is the fact that for 4 years I groused every single day that I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning to get Madi to the high school at such an “ungodly” hour. I could not wait for the torture to end. Now most mornings I wake at 6 am or before and immediately am thrilled that I woke early enough to have time to sit with my coffee and write before the world shifts into high gear.
Why the sudden change?
I have been working with a student in AP History and just read a text pertaining to the American War for Independence. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the colonists, although not thrilled, had accepted British trade regulations, but when they felt like they were being taxed to raise money for England, they became mutinous. Although there was certainly more to it than that, it was in essence a change in perspective.
There is an exercise where you hold your hand in the air above your head with your pointer finger up, and you look up and move your hand clockwise. While still turning your finger in a clockwise motion, slowly lower your hand to chest level or lower. When you look at your finger now, it is moving counterclockwise. Your perspective has changed, so things look a little different. Maybe even completely different.
Changing your point of view can improve the way you see the world is what spiritual master Amit Ray was trying to convey when he said, “The mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.”
At the beginning of the pandemic I started a journal chronicling how life was changing. On April 16, 2020, I noted:
Today is exactly the same as both yesterday and the day before, so why is it bothering me so very much? It’s my perception. IT changes. And it changes everything else. What was fine one day is maddening the next. Yesterday was a wonderful day. There was sunshine and fun; it felt hopeful. Today, nothing has changed. The weather is even exactly the same, and yet I feel antsy and bored and even hopeless. Nothing has changed but my perception.
Pastor Andy Conder said today, “Going into quarantine was difficult. Coming out of quarantine is twice as hard.” Why? I think our perceptions have changed. We view the world differently now. This might just be our chance to put a positive spin on our new point of view. Strive to reframe the negative. A better perception could bring about more compassion in this world, and that’s something we could all use a little more of.
As Henry David Thoreau once said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” I’m hoping to see more kindness, more compassion, more love in the world.